Saturday, June 2, 2012

Loving Partnership

Lola and Sam were having a light-hearted conversation about how they met, Lola said she believed it was Fate.  When Sam casually remarked that he didn't believe in Fate, Lola felt deflated 'like a bubble had burst'.  She felt stupid that his comment had had such a powerful affect on her and couldn't understand why it still hurt months later.

Our emotions have great intelligence and for relationships to thrive we must learn to value them and give them the right kind of attention.  Most of the time we are taught to dismiss feelings as a sign of weakness, but the deeper truth is that our vulnerability is our greatest strength;  where we are fragile is also where we are able to make powerful connections, heart to heart.

Whether Sam believed in Fate or not was not really the issue here, it was that in the face of disagreement Lola had fallen into deep emotions linked to old feelings of inadequacy.  

Believing that her feelings and thoughts were foolish and of no value, she had assumed she was wrong and handed over her authority without a moment’s thought.  She had automatically and unconsciously adopted the inferior position, giving Sam the superior role in the relationship.  This unconscious decision and the subsequent - but subtle - loss of connection between them that resulted, was the real reason she was still upset.  

The superior/inferior pattern is common in relationships and is not a recipe for long-term success.  After a while the inferior/superior dynamic breeds resentment on both sides.  In the inferior position you back away from conflict, you may even place your partner on a pedestal, but eventually you begin to feel resentful that your partner doesn't take you seriously or have enough time for you.

With the power of the superior position also comes responsibility; you have to take care of everyone which takes its toll on your time, energy and resources.  This pattern can go on for years without either party realising the problem and eventually the creativity, spontaneity and connection between you dies.

Most relationships settle into a superior/inferior dynamic, primarily because it is the traditional relationship model we have all grown up with.  However, to build a healthy, long-term relationship there needs to be a new model: Partnership, where your partner's sense of equality, success and well-being is as important to you as your own.

This new model of relationship is led from the heart, not the head, and requires a different intelligence - emotional intelligence.  It takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable and open to build true partnership, but the rewards of deeper connection, trust and greater intimacy provide a safe, nurturing and loving environment for all.  Partnership offers an inspiring role model for the next generation.

Lola and Sam are working on their relationship with much more consciousness.  They're developing emotional literacy, learning transformational communication skills and discovering that the most powerful language comes from the heart. 

Perhaps it was Fate that set up that conversation after all!

For tips on building partnership see our previous blog on 5 habits for successful relationship.
or contact or 07789 408378 for partnership skills coaching.

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